GLUTEN-ALERT! Enjoy Festivals glutenfree

Warm summer evenings, great music, a good atmosphere, nice people, a feeling of freedom: Yes, it's here again - the absolutely coolest time of the year, the festival season! The best known are certainly Rock im Park, Rock am Ring, Wacken Open Air or the Harley Days in Hamburg. But the Poolbar Festival, the Donauinselfest, the Urban Arts Form Festival or the See-Rock Festival are also worth a visit. They are all summer, joy and music live!

Many music festivals now offer gluten-free food options. With more and more people suffering from gluten intolerances or coeliac disease, organisers are keen to offer a variety of food options to suit the needs of festival goers. If you're looking for gluten-free food at a music festival, check out the food stalls and options in advance. Many festivals now have dedicated areas or stalls specialising in gluten-free or allergen-free food. These then offer a selection of dishes that are prepared without gluten.
The availability of gluten-free food at music festivals varies greatly from festival to festival. While some festivals may have a wide range of gluten-free options, others may offer limited options. It's almost impossible to refer to the gluten-free offerings of all festivals, so I'm simply reporting my own experiences here. In recent years, I have been to one festival or another, including Lollapalooza in Berlin, Tomorrowland in Boom (Belgium) and Panama Open Air in Bonn.



Festivals usually have a variety of drinks, including gluten-free options. Of course, there are alcohol-free options at every festival. Coca-Cola, sodas or apple spritzers are the norm. Alcoholic, gluten-free drinks are a bit more complicated. If you don't want to go straight for high-proof drinks like cocktails or shots, there are only limited alternatives to gluten-containing beer. Occasionally, wine is offered, but more often cider or, in the Rhine-Main region, apple wine. Refreshing and, above all, not so strong alcohol.

Here are some examples of gluten-free drinks that are often available at festivals:

- Water: Water is always a good choice and usually available everywhere.
- Fruit juices: Freshly squeezed juices made from different fruits are often available at festivals. Make sure they are not mixed with other ingredients that may contain gluten.
- Lemonades: Many sodas are gluten-free, but it is important to check the ingredient list as some brands may contain gluten-containing ingredients.
- Cider: Cider is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented apples. Many cider brands are gluten-free, but again it is advisable to check labels.
- Wine: Most wines are naturally gluten-free. However, it is important to note that some wines may contain gluten-containing ingredients during the clarification process.
- Gluten-free beer: In recent years, gluten-free beer brands have also entered the market. These beers are either brewed with gluten-free ingredients such as millet, rice or buckwheat or use enzymes to break down the gluten in the brewing process.



The gluten-free offer varies greatly at the different festivals. In addition, it is always important to speak to the food stalls themselves to ensure that there is no cross-contamination with products containing gluten.
Here are some examples of gluten-free foods that are commonly available at festivals

- French fries: Really, there are always fries. BUT BE CAREFUL and please ask if they are really gluten-free. This means they are made from natural potato products, without breading or additives, and prepared in frying fat that is used EXCLUSIVELY for this purpose.
- Grilled meat: Many barbecue stands offer grilled meat such as chicken, beef or pork, which is usually gluten-free. However, be aware of any marinades or spice mixes that may contain gluten.
- Salads: Salad stalls often offer gluten-free options, for example mixed green salads or salads with different vegetables. Make sure that no gluten-containing dressings or croutons are used.
- Rice dishes: There are often stalls offering rice dishes such as fried rice or paella, which are usually gluten-free. However, always ask about the ingredients used and possible contaminants.
- Gluten-free snacks: You may find stalls or food trucks that specifically offer gluten-free snacks, such as gluten-free chips, popcorn, nuts or seeds.
- Fruit and vegetables: Some festivals also have stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables. These are naturally gluten-free and a healthy option.

Apart from that, it can actually be difficult at one festival or another. I found it disappointing that the world-famous Tomorrowland did not even provide its food with the appropriate allergen labelling. For the size of the festival and an otherwise so professional and detailed implementation, this is really a bit sloppy and disappointing. Nonetheless, at all festivals, questions were answered politely and sometimes more or less competently. The offer and allergen labelling at Lollapalooza is really exceptional. There you can choose between Thai food, Indian food, jacket potatoes and much more.



However, I think it's exaggerated to be put off by the lack of gluten-free offerings and to forego a visit to the festival because of it. You can always find something gluten-free, even if it's a delicious Magnum!  However, if the food on offer at the festival site gives you a stomach ache, you can of course take some snacks with you. My packing list for "festival food" includes homemade energy balls, nuts, fruit and muesli bars - so you're sure to get by and do yourself some good!

Admittedly, it's not always easy, but with a little preparation, flexibility and GluteoStop tablets before each consumption, it's doable.
So let the anticipation for the next festivals begin!

Best wishes